It has also been reported that Morrison’s department had children on Christmas Island phone Muir and beg their freedom even giving them the phones to do so. Now that’s something straight out of the “classic hostage situation” handbook. That’s what terrorists do with hostages.
So, with the passing of this Bill what have we ended up with?
Crikey put it this way, calling it an immoral disgrace:
“At 8.06 this morning it was done: the House of Representatives passed the government’s Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014, following its passage and amendment just after midnight in the Senate. Parliamentarians then got to go home for Christmas, having delivered the Immigration Minister extraordinary powers that in effect obliterate any further pretence that Australia regards asylum seekers as human beings.
The bill restored the failed Howard-era policy of temporary protection visas, a mechanism that actually increased boat arrivals when last attempted. Whether Clive Palmer seriously believes that there is a pathway to citizenship contained in a kind of homeopathic form within the legislation – or it merely suits its purposes to pretend there is – we don’t know, but Scott Morrison has been crystal clear that TPVs will never provide permanent protection.
But the bill goes much further, freeing Australia from any obligations associated with the Refugee Convention, including giving Morrison and his department – which has repeatedly demonstrated it is profoundly incompetent and resistant to the most basic forms of accountability – the power to return people to torture and persecution without judicial review.”
On the one hand cross bench senators like Ricky Muir, Nick Xenophon might argue that the end does indeed justify the means. After all there will be many freed from their dreadful incarceration and the migrant intake has been increased. But did they consider that Morrison already held powers to resolve these issues, to release people. Especially children. His threat was that unless they passed his legislation they could rot in hell.
They could have called his bluff.
Their pretentious anguish at having to deal with such a choice can’t hide the grim reality of their actions.
Greg Barnes (a spokesman for the Australian Lawyers Alliance and barrister) put this way:
“But in passing this legislation Senator Muir and his colleagues have done what many would think is unconscionable in a society that supposedly subscribes to the rule of law – allow the executive to “play God” with the lives of those in our world who want to put their case for asylum to a rich, developed world country with ample capacity to take them.”
Morrison is now effectively above the High Court and our conformity to the International Convention on Refugees has been written out of our law.
The bill, in all probability is the most immoral ever passed by an Australian Parliament.
Not only that, it is also bad policy. It says much about the leaders of this country and their shameful misrepresentation of the faith they profess to follow.
No matter in what sphere of government policy (immigration, health, pensioners, education etc) one looks, you find the hand of Abbott’s hate on those who refuse to join Team Australia.
He seeks to reward those who follow and punish those who don’t. In the past week much has been written about the horrendous failings of his government.
A lot has centered on Abbott’s credentials as a leader. Therein lies the fundamental problem. For those of us who have followed his career closely, it’s easy. He has none.
“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.